SUBSTANCE ABUSE & TREATMENT IN COLUMBUS, OHIO
Columbus, Ohio has been highly proactive in its efforts to curb its drug issues. The largest current apprehension is that heroin usage and the general epidemic of opiates will evolve. This is a trend, especially in midwestern states. In the city of Columbus, the fear relates to the drugs’ growing availability through the state’s DTOs, the strength of Ohio’s economy – especially considering the presence of Caucasians with good jobs and considerable financial resources – a perception of increased affordability on the part of African American users who statistically in the city do not earn as much as their white counterparts and yet strive for the same high, and also the decreased use of oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Though Columbus maintains one of the country’s largest drug problems, the city and surrounding region also maintain one of the largest ongoing efforts to curb abuse. Politically, there is an ongoing battle to once again price-fix Naxalone, to enable affordability and a stop-gap in the event of an accidental or intentional heroin or fentanyl overdose.
Law enforcement has increased in correlation with the degree of specific drug abuses. Inadvertently, abuse of prescription stimulants – a direct causality of an effort to curb certain mental health issues, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) – appears primed to upswing in 2018. Ritalin has lessened in use, while Adderall has become not only increasingly abused, but also sold by other sufferers. In the first half of 2017, Adderall was among the most widely-prescribed stimulants, though lower than prior years, and among the most available in the black market. In the second half of 2017, 97 prescription stimulant cases were reported as hospital admissions. The number may not appear to be large, especially in reference to other statistics from harder drugs, but the signs are discouraging.
Adderall is predicted to further decrease in 2018, in favor of the cheaper Vyvanse, which serves the same purpose and is available for .25 per mg. Reason for the decrease appears to be correlated with the lessening of diagnosed ADHD cases in the city, thereby making the drug less available.
That said, the incontrovertible truth of the addict is such that most any drug can be had for a price. Whatever one needs, or craves … or wants, an addict will find.
But, as ever, help is always out there. Always do your own research to find what is best for you, and use the above listings as a base. Many of the centers previously mentioned will accept Medicaid and Medicare, or cash. Many will also work with you in terms of financial assistance. Do your diligence first, and then pick up the phone.
True recovery begins with the acknowledgment that you have an issue, and then seeking help for that issue.
More on Columbus, Ohio
The state of Ohio has been considered for many years a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), a label which does not appear to be ending or changing anytime soon. Heroin has surpassed cocaine as the most trafficked drug, primarily brought to the region by Mexican DTOs. Cocaine remains viable, especially due to its perception as the upper-class drug of choice. When an economy is as strong in an HIDTA area as is Columbus, cocaine is usually prevalent. Meantime, controlled prescription drugs continue to be available, and abused.
Ongoing news in the Columbus region exposes parallels with a particularly virulent issue plaguing many U.S. states: the availability of opiates.
The headline of the November 29, 2016 edition of The Columbus Dispatch exposed that horrifying reality: Ohio Leads Nation in Overdose Deaths. The article’s first sentence explained that opioid overdoses accounted for one in every fourteen U.S. deaths from the drug class. Further, of all U.S. deaths from heroin, the state of Ohio claimed one for every nine on a national basis.
According to a national study completed by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (as based on information provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Ohio reported 2,106 opioid overdoses in 2014, which equated to 7.4% of 28,647 such deaths nationwide. California and New York, respectively, closely trailed. On a general basis inclusive of all banned substances, 3050 overdose deaths were reported in Ohio in 2015. 2016 and 2017 were moderately higher year-to-year. Heroin-related deaths followed the pattern, with 1,208 deaths out of 10,574 countrywide, or 11.4%.
The city of Columbus is the capital of Ohio, and its most populated city with just under 1,000,000 residents as of 2017. It is the locus of the Columbus, Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses ten counties with a collective population of 2.6 million. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on the city proper.
The city’s economy is strong and diverse; in 2016, Money Magazine listed Columbus in its review of The 6 Best Big Cities. Citations included an excellent general wage growth and a particularly well-educated workforce. Forbes, three years earlier, listed Columbus as one of the country’s Best Places for Business and Careers. Education, technology, healthcare, and finance are top industries. Performing arts institutions, such as the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Theater of Columbus, and BalletMet Columbus, are plentiful.
Racial makeup of Columbus, as of 2016, is estimated at 62% Caucasian, 29% African American, 5.5% Hispanic and the remainder, primarily, Asian. 38% of all residents consider themselves religious, per a survey from Sperling’s Best Places. Churches, synagogues, and mosques are plentiful.
On a more positive note, the state of Ohio has substantially lessened their overdose deaths from oxycodone and hydrocodone, due to a marked decrease of prescribed narcotics. Over 81 million less opioid dosages were administered in 2016 than in 2012. The loss of those narcotics, however, directly correlated with an increased usage of the harder heroin, and fentanyl – an opiate frequently mixed with heroin to maximize the latter’s already deadly strength. Authorities continue to battle drug traffickers, with a focus on preventing abuse on the part of minors.
However, a drug that hinders the effects of heroin is readily available, and was price-fixed for awhile. Though the price is no longer fixed, availability remains strong. The drug is Naxalone, also sold by its brand name Narcan. Naxalone blocks the effects of heroin and painkillers in the brain, thereby reversing the potential for unconsciousness following an overdose. The drug curbs or ceases the effects of an opioid overdose, and had been price-frozen in Ohio in 2014, the only state in the country that had undertaken such an action. The cost has since increased. Naxalone is manufactured by Adapt Pharma, and available in both a nasal spray form, as well as an injectable. In many counties, the drug Naxalone is available over-the-counter. Please speak to a doctor about current price and availability, or, to find a list of Ohio pharmacies carrying Naloxone visit stopoverdoses.ohio.gov. As retail prices presently vary, we advise you to contact various sellers before making your purchase.
The Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network (OSAM) has presented a comprehensive public report based on focus group interviews for over a decade. To follow the most recent five-year tend, let’s begin with the 2013-2014 report, which is highly relevant when compared to present statistics and allows us a window towards future trends.
In the 2013-2014 report, the following drugs were most readily available in Columbus at the time: marijuana, crack cocaine, prescription opioids, and sedative-hypnotics (such as barbiturates and muscle relaxants, including Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax). Heroin increased during the reporting period from the prior year, as did the availability of addictive bath salts. The participants in the report were users or former users; the availability of heroin was reported to be greater and easier to attain than pot, and one professional involved with the study said that up to 70% of all yearly rehab center admissions in Columbus was heroin-related.
Then as now, powdered cocaine remains an issue, and readily available. The American Court and Drug Testing Services reported at the time that 8.2% of the 2,863 people screened in Columbus and Lancaster labs tested positive for crack or powdered cocaine, and 15.2% for opiates. Current Street price for the former was $40-$50 a gram, the latter was up $50-$100.
Street prices for prescription opioids range from $1 per mg for Dilaudid, Vicodin, Fentanyl and Methadone, to $3 per mg for OxyContin, and up to $70 for 100 mg (10 mg/ml) for Methadone liquid. These prices have remained consistent to 2017 levels. Law enforcement activity for all drugs have reported no change from the time of the study.
Finally, the drug Molly (powdered MDMA) became popular at the time of the 2013-2014 study, especially in nightclubs, and dance parties. Ecstasy remains a moderate issue, not nearly as popular as other substances listed herein.
According to the current 2017 OSAM report for Drug Abuse Trends in the Columbus Region, availabilities and usages remained consistent, with a few changes. Sedative-hypnotics continued to be highly available, but Xanax has become the drug of choice in that category. Other changes in availability as elucidated in the present reporting period included increased availability for heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine and other sedative-hypnotics, and decreased availability for crack cocaine, synthetic marijuana, and prescription stimulants.
While many types of heroin have long been available in the region, in 2017 black tar heroin has become its most popular form. Reportedly, white powdered heroin (china white) is available as well, but is purchased and used to a considerably lesser degree. Heroin’s ongoing popularity in the region is due in part to the longer high accorded to users than their former, and more expensive, prescription opiate habits. Fentanyl use has also increased from 2013-2017, including heroin-fentanyl drug cocktails. Sharing needles has drastically increased, as injectable heroin is the drug’s the most common delivery method. Though African American usage has followed the upward trend of heroin usage, the drug is still most frequently purchased and used by while males.
Finally, alcohol abuse is consistent with the rest of the country. Nearly 50% of all fatal car accidents are alcohol-related. The resources that follow all include alcohol-related issues within their treatment.
To determine the extent and nature of one’s addiction, pre-intake questions may include the following: “How long have you been using?” “Do you believe you have a problem?” “Do you think others who know you believe you have a substance-related problem?” “Have others confronted you with questions related to substance abuse?” “Do you ever use alone?” “Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking one particular drug was the problem?” “Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?” “Have you ever been in a jail, a hospital, or a drug rehabilitation center because of your using?”
You can find pre-intake sample applications online. In this case, as with any other self-diagnostic tool, the questions as asked are exploratory only. You must speak to a trained and licensed professional for any true diagnosis. Still, such online tools such as a pre-intake questionnaire can be extremely useful. If you can honestly answer those questions, you may be validated, or you may dislike your responses. If you were drawn to the tool, likely both will apply. Regardless, consider your results, and then take necessary action.
There are pros and cons with online resources such as these, particularly when it comes to completely basing your treatment decisions on your own responses. That would be a negative, as remember, such questions are guidelines only without a trained professional to analyze your answers. Regardless of whether such questions are based on true-life examples of treatment center queries (they usually are), you may not be the best arbiter of your responses. Most especially if you are under the influence of any drug, or alcoholic drink. On the positive side, if you can be truthful with your answers, such online questions will certainly provide a glimpse into your condition, and the need for help.
Kudos to you for checking such online resources to begin with. That’s certainly a proactive start.
A quick note: Even if you don’t believe you are addicted, but are concerned that your usage is growing, help is out there. You do not have to be on the far side of addiction to reach out to various resources on The Recover. In the same spirit, if you are drawn to use, but have not yet, The Recover provides resources available to you as well. It is never too early, nor is it ever too late. These are tools that have been formed for reason, and they are there for you.
Many addicts, or users with a problem whose usage is not yet defined as an addiction, make the mistake of not taking the first step towards sobriety as it regards intake. If you need help in making an informed decision as to what treatment method is right for you, we cannot encourage you strongly enough to, again, speak to family and/or friends who have been there before. Sometimes, a user has a difficult time making such decisions with a clear head.
And once more, if you know of no one who has been through these issues before, please contact one of the centers as listed on this page.
Also, we encourage you to ask yourself a few questions: 1) What is holding you back from getting help? 2) Do you believe you have a support system? If so, do you feel comfortable contacting them and speaking about your problem? If not, would you feel more comfortable contacting a professional? And 4) Do you believe you are capable of making an informed decision as to your treatment? If yes, you are well-advised to take advantage of one or more of the resources here. If no, you are strongly advised to contact one of the phone numbers listed here, and discuss your reservations.
Again, they are there to help.
During the intake application process, you will be required to list your prescription medications and days and times taken (if “none,” you check “none”), an authorization of medical care, a list of allergies or other medical issues, and a waiver of responsibility. Some applications ask more. A physician or treatment center representative will then review your application for the proper steps, and treatment.
If you have come this far, kudos to you. You have taken a major step towards reclaiming your life, and your potential.
The concept and practice of detox is typically broken down into three distinct phases: Evaluation, Stabilization, and Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab.
Evaluation: As overseen by a doctor, who will determine what drugs are presently being used, how long has the patient been using, and how much and how frequently the patient uses.
Stabilization: As expounded on the site, stabilization differs patient to patient, based on specific substance being abused. This is the end result of the withdrawal phase.
Transition to Inpatient Drug Rehab: Many addicts believe that once they complete withdrawal, they are finished with their treatment. That is a dangerous belief, as withdrawal only releases the immediate physical hold of the substance
Communication is key. Some users are resistant to treatment, most especially when in a treatment center against their will. In this instance, your communication with your specialists will be at risk. Remember, they are there to help you. You have the freedom to ask questions, and the right to receive answers.
That is one of the benefits of treatment, a better understanding of your illness.
INPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Inpatient treatment is frequently misunderstood, as there are several options available to the user under that umbrella title. Many people believe the term to refer to only hospital treatment. Or, only highly-restrictive treatment. In reality, it is neither.
Inpatient treatment can either be PHP (a partial hospitalization providing a highly-structured environment, with typically active treatment of 30 hours per week), the less-intensive IOP (intensive outpatient treatment plan, which requires up to three hours daily over 3-5 days, for a total of nine hours weekly; therapy is usually included, but the patient can live either at their own home or a halfway house during the process), and an RTC (residential).
Though you may be the best determinant of the degree of inpatient recovery resources best suited to your needs, frequently one may need the help of family or friends to help you more clearly identify the treatment options that are most prudent for your needs. From there, only your personal commitment will determine your success.
PHPs and RTCs are amazing resources for those with more severe or difficult abuse issues. Both options are highly-structured, especially the former. The importance of structure cannot be understated. You will have a time for medicinal treatment, a time for personal or group therapy, a time to rest, a time for activities …
Frequently, a user has little structure outside of the treatment center. The user is more interested in the high than by scheduling their day via their clock. The structure of PHP treatment, particularly, may be a challenge for some. But, if you allow the treatment to take its course, the end-result can exceed your most optimistic hopes.
So ask yourself: “Do I do well in a structured environment?” “Am I functional in a structured environment, or will I have a better chance to succeed with something less restrictive? As ever, a user if not always the best determinant as to treatment. If a user is high while making the decision, that will be in no one’s best interests. It’s time to commit, with as free a sense of mind as possible.
We will talk more about the level of commitment in a moment.
OUTPATIENT TREATMENT RESOURCES
Outpatient treatment is a comprehensive approach to wellness, and no less impactful than inpatient services. Please research the importance of outpatient treatment resources on The Recover, or speak to loved ones who have been through the process. Recovery is an ongoing process, which requires a substantive lifestyle change to avoid the ever-present threat of a relapse.
Let’s discuss a bit further. Outpatient treatment allows the patient a certain level of responsibility to remain clean while outside of the treatment center. You will face temptations but will have also learned specific strategies as to how to deal with them. It is up to you to take advantage of those lessons. There is a certain degree of trust on the part of the outpatient treatment administrators that the user will remain clean, and at the same time outpatient treatment allows for the user to remain productive on the outside while still receiving help. If you work, you can schedule your outpatient appointments or check-ins after hours.
One very important point, though, under this or any treatment circumstance: The entirely of your treatment is a commitment. Outpatient or not, if you miss one appointment you will likely miss another. That is a recipe for failure. What you allow, you encourage.
Never allow an excuse to fail. More precisely, let’s say it as it is: There are countless reasons why one would fail, in this or any other environment. Laziness, rigidity, intimidation …
There are fewer reasons to succeed: Yourself, first of all, then your loved ones (your collective of family and friends). Which means more to you? The pain of the commitment to get well, or the pleasure of using? If you answer the latter question as your affirmative, consider those loved ones who care about you, and worry about you.
On that note, let us elaborate upon the concept of commitment for a moment. Some users resent the term, thinking many of those who do not use, or who are not otherwise plagued by addiction, tend to believe commitment is that much easier than it truly is. How can a user commit to anything at all, one may ask, much less treatment if said user is overwhelmed by their addiction?
It is very difficult. Really, it is. But you can do this. You can reclaim your life, as none of us are defined by our addictions.
AFTERCARE AND SOBER LIVING RESOURCES
Not all sober houses or aftercare facilities are created equal. However, you will frequently be surrounded by others in a supportive and understanding environment, others who have undergone similar difficulties. Sober houses most frequently prove to the addict – which as you see here is a message on repeat – that you are not alone.
There have been several popular television shows on various networks over the last decade that have dramatized the sober living experience. We suggest that you watch with caution, as several of these shows contain scripted elements that do not necessarily give a positive view of what could be a positive experience
We’ve seen users looking forward to attending sober houses for all the wrong reasons. The sober house experience is an often integral part of your overall treatment. But, it can be as abused as the substances for which you have been admitted.
You will live among others in a place away from your home. A sober care facility will actually be your new home until you leave. Others can influence you, so be careful. Sober living can be a hugely beneficial and beautiful experience, but you must remember, you are still in treatment.